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John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith was born in Edmonson County, KY, on October 18, 1847.  He passed away at his home in Liberty Township December 5, 1924, at the ripe age of 77 years, one month and seventeen days.  He was the eldest child of Harrison and Mahala Jane Smith.  At the age of nineteen he left the parental home to seek his fortune in the west, going to an uncle’s, Danny Smith, in Warren County, IL;  For several years he worked, studied and went to school in the winter months.  Later he accompanied his uncle to Iowa, but soon decided to go still farther west.  He took up a claim in eastern Nebraska, near Lincoln, but soon sold it and returned to Berwick, IL.  Here he married to Eliza Ray on October 26, 1873.  For several years they resided on a farm near Berwick, which was later traded on the farm now owned by Ray Smith in Tingley Township, Ringgold, County, IA.  To this place he moved in  1885 and lived there two years.  During the next ten years he engaged in buying and selling land in addition to stock raising and general farming.  After the Dunning Bank failure he purchased and moved to the farm southwest of Mount Ayr, where he resided for fifteen years.  Four years ago he bought and moved to the place known as the Allison Tidrick farm.  He earnestly desired to live on a farm with his children comfortably situated around him.  He worked and planned with that end in view.  Being a conscientious law abiding citizen himself, he strove to inculcate these principals into his children.  He desired to provide bountifully for his wife and children and his ambition was gratified.  He used to say that a man had not made a living until he had enough laid by t support himself in his old age.  he was strictly honest and upright in all his dealings and expected others to be the same.  The golden rule was the standard by which he measured all his actions.  His word was as good as his bond.  No sacrifice was too great for him to make for his family.  He was a great lover of home and seldom left it.  The latch string was ever out to the needy.  His friends were numbered by his acquaintances.  His father was an ordained Baptist minister and an earnest Bible student and his religious training began at an early age in his father’s home.  In early manhood he united with the Union Baptist, Warren County, IL.  Whatever he did for others was done quietly; he expected no praise for doing his duty or what he thought to be right.  His standard of what a man ought to be was high, and he earnestly strove to measure up to that standard.  Well might it be said of him:  “He was a man, take him all in all I shall not look upon his like again.” He leaves to mourn his loss his devoted and dearly beloved wife, Eliza, three daughters, Frances Wimer and Nora Ashurst of Mount Ayr and Lena Bastow of Tingley Township; and four sons, Henry, Arthur, Roy, and Ray of Tingley. There are twenty-nine grandchildren left to mourn the passing of a devoted grandfather. He also leaves four brothers, Benjamin F. Smith of Monmouth, IL; Willis J. Smith of Kirkwood, IL; Frank Smith of Smiths Grove, KY; and Thos. Smith of Malaga, WA; also two sisters, Mrs. Julia Jones of Monmouth, IL; and Mrs. Lon Nance of Grandview, WA; besides a host of nephews and nieces.  The funeral was held yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon from the home in Liberty Township, being conducted by Rev. Orr Campbell of Humeston. Interment was in Rose Hill Cemetery.

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